Livingstone is a Hamilton-based construction company that’s been focused on building excellence since 1947.
These days Livingstone is a leading award-winning business with a team of 200+ committed people at the heart of everything they do and the expertise and experience to make a positive difference to both communities and cityscapes.
Livingstone builds landmark construction for sectors including:
» Commercial and industrial
» Retail and hospitality
Livingstone Site Manager and former Hamilton Boys’ High School student Matti Clarke has always been part of the Livingstone family – his Dad started working there as a 15-year-old and now he’s been there almost six years too!
FutureForce® sat down with Matti to find out more.
Top Career Tip
“First impressions are important. An employer might decide whether to give you an apprenticeship or job based on the impression you give them.
If you’re enthusiastic and have a good attitude an employer will be more likely to give you good opportunities.“
A Chat with Matti about his role
Former Hamilton Boys’ High School Student
How did you get this job? What got you interested in this career path?
I worked here in my school holidays and when I finished school my dad told me I had a month to find a job otherwise I was coming to be a labourer. Turns out I did start as a labourer, and after about six months I was offered a building apprenticeship which I initially turned down. I continued to work and made friends with my colleagues so decided to give the apprenticeship a go. In my final year, I was working as a foreman on-site and I’ve now been fully qualified for a year and working as site manager.
What does your role involve?
The role of site manager is very busy. I have the responsibility of running the whole site, which may be 10 people or even upwards of 50. I plan ahead for each team member, so they have a clear direction to follow with their work, and also for health and safety.
What have you learnt on the job?
I used to be a people pleaser and that just doesn’t work in this role. You have to learn to say no, and to be strong and trust your gut.
What do you wish you knew when you left school?
I thought school was so hard when I was there and I couldn’t wait to leave, but now I would say… enjoy school! Keep in touch with your mates because they are a big part of your life for years and suddenly you don’t see them once you start working. You might be physically tired and go through some tough times at work but try to make the effort, it’s worth it.
What does someone need to know when starting out at work?
Don’t spend all your money! It’s easy to blow it on buying takeaways or other unnecessary things. It’s awesome to suddenly have money but hang on to some of it. Make a savings plan and set some financial goals.
What sort of person do you need to be for this type of work?
To be a tradie you need to be a tough person, both physically and mentally, because the physical work can be challenging. It is also mentally tough to get out every day all day whatever the weather and conditions.
To be a site manager you need to be a mentally strong person because you make a lot of decisions and need to be able to trust yourself. You must be driven, a good leader and happy to back yourself because you are responsible for the work on the site.
What do you like most about working at Livingstone?
I like the day-to-day challenges. I am a competitive person and I enjoy a challenge. The challenges amp me up and I enjoy overcoming a challenge and then starting over again the next day.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Take all opportunities given to you even if you don’t think you’re ready for them. Take the opportunities offered because they might not be there in six months’ time. Whatever you do, whether you succeed or whether you fail, you’ll be learning something.
Where would you like to go with your career?
Livingstone’s are forging a path for me and there is no reason why I wouldn’t follow it. They’re pushing me along quite quickly and there is a future for me in the company. I’m happy to roll with the management decisions and move up the ladder.
A typical day at work
7am to 10am
I open the site and do prestart meetings with the team. I organise people into their routines and help them set their goals for the day. If I have time I try to catch up on paperwork before a 10am break.
10.15am to 2pm
Administration and paperwork time. This is generally a quieter time for me, but I may still be interrupted or pulled out onto site to help or solve problems.
2pm to 5.30pm
Planning and organising people for the next day.
Opportunities at Livingstone
Livingstone has a large pool of directly employed highly skilled carpenters and more than 50 apprentices and there are several pathways within the business, including:
- Quantity surveying
- Project and site management
- Tendering support
- Business development
- Health and safety
- Quality assurance
Why work at Livingstone?
Livingstone’s culture of support, mentoring, training, and growing team members like Matti is shown through current team members, many of whom have been with the company for 10, 20, 30 and 40 years!
As Livingstone values say, “I am not here to be average. I am here to be awesome!”
Come be a part of AWESOME!
Check out what’s on offer, get in contact with your CV, and let Livingstone help you on your new career pathway!
Useful School Subjects
» Wood technology gives you a good base to start from.
»Maths – I use numbers and basic maths daily.
» At my school we had a Social Skills class where we learnt about communicating and other social skills.
“This has been very useful because I have to do a lot of face-to-face communication, talking and meetings. Presenting yourself well and building relationships is important in the construction industry”.